As August rolls by and the months amble closer to autumn, Minnesotans everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. Storm season is drawing to a close, finally! No more worrying about when to call hail damage roofing contractors, or if that stray tree branch really did as much damage to your siding as you dread it might have.
However, just because the weather is (hopefully) clearing up doesn’t mean it’s time to let your guard down. Your home has been working hard to keep your family safe, cool, and dry inside, especially your gutters. After striving all season to direct rainwater away from your foundation and keep it going strong, they deserve a little TLC—a once-over, if you will.
So have your gutters made it to fall without taking a hit? Midwest Exteriors MN, your friendly team of Lake Elmo gutter installers, is here with some few tips on how to tell below.
Take a Look at Your Fascia
If you’re like many homeowners, you probably have no idea what fascia is or how it pertains to your gutters’ health—so let us explain. Fascia (pronounced FASH-ee-uh), when it comes to home exteriors, is the thin board of wood or vinyl that your seamless gutters are affixed to, located near the edge of your roof. In addition to holding up your gutters, it holds up the lowest layer of roofing shingles, so it’s a pretty important piece of your exterior!
How Fascia Can Tell you if Your Gutters Are Damaged
It’s in vogue for fascia to be white, or at least a lighter color, these days. That means that, if your gutter is cracked, leaking, or otherwise overflowing, that water damage will show up clear as day on it. Look for stains, peeling paint, rotting wood, or a general dilapidated appearance. You don’t need to wait around for it to rain to detect storm-related cracks in your gutters; your fascia tells all.
As a side note, severely wrecked fascia can be a sign that your gutter installers didn’t do their jobs correctly! Correct installation, alongside correct maintenance, are both paramount to maintaining this part of your exterior—and your exterior as a whole.
Siding Also Speaks
Just like your fascia, siding can also stain when gutters leak or overflow onto it. When water spillage progresses to this point, it can be quite dangerous, as far as the integrity of your home is concerned. Though all sorts of siding types are designed to shed water, they’re also most likely designed to work in tandem with a functioning gutter installation system—meaning that, when prolonged leakage occurs, your home’s vulnerable inner structures could be at risk.
Is Your Downspout Extender Still On?
Your downspout extender, if your home has one, is an ‘L’ shaped bit of material that is attached to your gutter system near where it meets the ground. It can look a bit like an accordion, with many folds, or like the end of a waterslide—open-topped and flat.
While these gutter accessories may not look like much, they play a critical role in directing rainwater away from your foundation or vulnerable landscaping, if your gutter system currently does not accomplish that for you. Harsh storms, combined with sunlight and general wear-and-tear, can cause them to weaken and fall off of your gutter system, leaving the water they once handled to flow exactly where it shouldn’t be. And since you probably don’t inspect the exterior of your home every day, this can be an easy problem to miss.
So make sure those extenders are firmly in place, especially if you have a retractable model—these ones often use a simple, slip-on approach, and while this makes application easy, it makes its failure easier, too.
Hone in on the Joints
When all is said and done, this is where leaks from storm damage are the most likely to happen, simply because the space where two bits of material are joined is frequently less sturdy than what comprises it. When you head out to check on your gutter system post-summer storm season, pay special attention to your gutters’ seams, checking the siding and fascia beneath for storm-related water damage.
Cut Down on the Problem With Seamless Gutters
Of course, this is where seamless gutters shine. Because they have far, far fewer seams than their traditional counterparts, they’re stronger against any stormy horror Minnesotan summers can dream up. Top that off with the legendary installation jobs that Midwest Exteriors MN brings to the table and you’ll have one problem-free gutter system! Make it practically maintenance free, too, with gutter guards.
Midwest Exteriors MN: Here to Help With All Your Gutter Needs
Ready to switch to seamless and enter your next storm season sans stress? Midwest Exteriors MN’s dedicated team of home and condo contractors is on the case. Give us a call today at 651-346-9477.